Leader of apex Yoruba sociopolitical organisation, Afenifere, Pa Ayo Adebanjo, has expressed concern over what he called undemocratic and reckless shoot-on-sight order against agitators in the Southeast zone of the country by the Acting Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba Alkali, noting that it’s an indication that people of the zone are no longer safe.
The Acting IGP had on Tuesday last week, declared war on pro Biafra agitators and gunmen attacking and destroying police infrastructure in the Southeast and South-South regions and ordered their complete extermination.
The police boss who spoke on the sideline while addressing the Police Mobile Force and Special Tactical Squad of the Force in Enugu shortly after he launched Operation Restore Peace, directed policemen in the region not to adhere to the rules of engagement while dealing with Biafra secessionist groups, adding that his job was to protect them.
He went ahead to threaten police officers who fail to carry out his orders and gets killed in the process.
“Don’t mind the media shout; do the job I command you. If anyone accuses you of human rights violation, the report will come to my table and you know what I will do. So, take the battle to them wherever they are and kill them all. Don’t wait for an order,” he said.
“What another order are you waiting for when Mr. President had ordered you to shoot anybody carrying AK-47 rifle? Quote me, even a dead policeman can be tried and dismissed from the force and his family will not get his benefits.
“So, don’t seat and wait for them to come; take attack to them and don’t lose your arms to criminals.”
However, condemning the order, Adebanjo pointed out that the move is a further escalation of President Muhammadu Buhari government’s hostility towards the Southeast since he took power in 2015.
“The rising hostility against the South-East Zone since the beginning of the Buhari administration has now become a matter of great concern to Afenifere, as this reality should also become a major concern to other stakeholders in the Nigerian project,” Adebanjo said in a statement on Thursday.
The Afenifere leader, who decried the situation where two sets of laws exist in the country; a set of laws where the Fulani go scot free and another, that the lives of others, especially that of the Igbo, do not matter.
“Taking a look at the Security Council, no Igbo man is a member of Buhari’s security architecture. Is that how to run a multi-ethnic multi-religious country like Nigeria?” he queried.
“One will assume that Nigeria is now a theatre of bloodshed as the streets are now lined with the blood of innocent Nigerians. With this draconian order, no opposition member is safe.
He said that if the President had no hidden agenda, there were more civilised and democratic ways to beef up security in the South East.
He urged other leaders in the zones to condemn the shoot-on-sight order to prevent another looming massacre in the South-East zone, saying: “To prevent yet another looming massacre in the South-East Zone, leaders in other zones should condemn the shoot-on-sight order. The President must be told that if he is sincere about peace and unity of this country, the order should be revoked forthwith. Certainly, if the President has no hidden agenda, there are more civilised and democratic ways to beef up security in the South-East.”